In Varanasi, Jaitley to reach out to trading community

In Varanasi, Jaitley to reach out to trading community

The BJP has deployed Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to reach out to the trading community in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency of Varanasi.

Jaitley, in his bid to assuage the feelings of traders, ploughed  through “encouraging” latest GDP growth figures to argue that demonetisation has expanded the social base of the party and busted the myth created by the Opposition that note ban has hit the poor hard and made the country’s economy sluggish.

Varanasi is also home to a large numbers of traders, essentially saree business, and note ban had impacted the weavers as payments are mainly made through cash.

“People had said the economy will become sluggish and it will impact the GDP. But that’s not the case. In November and December, I had said that revenue figures are showing increase in excise and VAT collections. Despite the currency squeeze, the GDP figures have improved. It clearly indicates that our target to integrate black money economy with the formal economy is happening,” Jaitley said.

Hinting that note ban has helped the BJP to consolidate the votes of non-Yadav most backward castes, the Union minister stressed that the party’s traditional voters continued to remain with it and new people were joining in. “We have not seen this kind of expansion in so many decades,” he remarked.

Jaitley quoted the recent civic poll results in Maharashtra and Odisha to insist that people in some states have already given their mandate in favour of note ban. “We won in slums where the BJP does not get votes. In Odisha, too, our strength grew in tribal areas and we will see similar reactions in Uttar Pradesh,” Jaitley said.

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